Veterinary nurses work with vets to provide nursing care for sick and injured animals.
1. Entry requirements
- a Level 3 diploma in veterinary nursing, or a foundation degree or degree in veterinary nursing
- to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)
You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.
2. Skills required
- the ability to handle animals in a calm, confident manner
- practical skills
- the ability to be tactful and sympathetic with pet owners
- administration and IT skills
3. What you'll do
You’ll usually work in a general veterinary practice. You'll need to care about animal welfare without being too sentimental.
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- speaking to animal owners to find out the problem
- taking blood and urine samples from animals
- taking x-rays
- preparing animals for treatment and assisting vets during treatment
- giving injections, medication and removing stitches
- talking to pet owners about how to care for their animals
- taking care of in-patient animals
- supervising and helping to train other assistants
- updating records
In smaller practices you may also work on reception.
Starter: £18,000 to £20,000
Experienced: £21,000 to £24,000
Highly Experienced: £26,000 (senior nurse)
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
You'll usually work 35 to 40 hours a week, with some evenings and weekends.
You'll usually get a uniform and protective clothing.
6. Career path and progression
With experience, you could take on more responsibility, like practice management, supervising and training new staff, or working in veterinary supplies.
You could also train to specialise in working for a zoological/wildlife park, charity, pharmaceutical company or breeding/boarding kennels.
With further study you could work towards becoming a lecturer or researcher.
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Last updated: 13 April 2017